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Wear behaviour of polyethylene glenoid inserts against PyroCarbon humeral heads in shoulder arthroplasties

Lookup NU author(s): Israel Ramirez Martinez, Dr Simon Smith, Professor Tom Joyce



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Elsevier Ltd, 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


© 2019The generation of polyethylene wear debris, and the subsequent tissue reaction to such debris is considered to be a limitation in the long-term survival of shoulder arthroplasties. The purpose of this study was to investigate, for the first time, the wear of a novel PyroCarbon-on-Polyethylene (PyCoP) shoulder arthroplasty system. A 5 million cycle wear test was performed on PyroCarbon humeral heads, which were articulated against commercially available polyethylene glenoid insert components to form an anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty (aTSA). A “Repeat-motion-load” physiological combined cycle was applied using the unique Newcastle Shoulder Wear Simulator. Wear was assessed gravimetrically, and the change of the surface roughness was measured with a non-contacting profilometer. The mean wear rate of the ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) components was 19.3 ± 9.5 mm3/million cycles after 5 million cycles of testing. The roughness value, Sa, of the UHMWPE glenoid inserts, reduced, changing from 296 ± 28 nm Sa to 32 ± 8 nm Sa. In contrast, the mean roughness of the PyroCarbon humeral heads remained in the same range (21 ± 2 nm Sa to 20 ± 10 nm Sa). There was no reduction in weight (no measurable wear) of the PyroCarbon humeral heads over the duration of testing. This study is the first to describe the wear performance of UHMWPE glenoid inserts against PyroCarbon humeral heads. No significant difference in the wear of UHMWPE was found in comparison with published studies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ramirez-Martinez I, Smith SL, Trail IA, Joyce TJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials

Year: 2020

Volume: 103

Print publication date: 01/03/2020

Online publication date: 25/11/2019

Acceptance date: 22/11/2019

Date deposited: 06/02/2020

ISSN (print): 1751-6161

ISSN (electronic): 1878-0180

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2019.103553


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